It looks almost certain that Ed Balls will run for the Labour leadership. Yesterday, Balls was out campaigning in his seat in Morley, and said the work of connecting with people goes on and that Labour must continue the conversation with voters.
Today, Balls has written a piece in the Independent in which he expands on that theme:
“It is not just party meetings we need but public meetings too. We must start with what the country is telling us in marginal seats across the country – from Dorset and Stevenage to Sherwood and Warrington.”
Speaking of the doorstep response during the election campaign, Balls says:
“People knew we had done great things – transforming our schools and hospitals, the national minimum wage, Sure Start children’s centres and the pension credit. They acknowledged that Gordon and Alistair did a great job on getting us through the global recession.
“But they felt we had stopped listening. It wasn’t enough to say “Don’t vote Tory” and “Don’t risk the recovery” when we had not done enough to prove that we were on people’s side. Time after time, “undecided” voters said to me: “You’ve lost touch with us.” They just did not believe we were hearing their concerns on immigration, welfare, housing, tuition fees and jobs.”
And on the leadership, he says:
“I have not rushed to a decision on whether to stand in this contest. Partly because I felt it my duty to talk to my party first. Partly because, like many MPs and party members, I wanted to let the events of the last few weeks sink in and did not think we should be rushed.”